Sabicas (with Joe Beck) – Rock Encounter (1970)

FrontCover1Sabicas (proper name: Agustín Castellón Campos) (16 March 1912 – 14 April 1990) was a flamenco guitarist of Romani origin.

Sabicas was born in Pamplona, Spain, and began playing guitar at the age of four and made his performing debut two years later. His early style was influenced by Ramón Montoya, to whom he was related on his mother’s side of the family. Extensive collaboration with important cantaores (male flamenco singers) of the period helped him develop his personal style.

Leaving Spain in 1936 during the Spanish Civil War, he went into exile in South America with bailaora (dancer) Carmen Amaya. He lived in Mexico City, married Esperanza González Erazo and had four children: Maricruz 1944, Carlos 1946, Agustine 1952 and Margaret 1956. Agustine and Margaret live in New York City, Maricruz lives in Alaska, and Carlos is deceased. Carmen and Sabicas toured together several times. Sabicas later settled in New York City in the United States. He did not return to his native Spain until 1967.

Sabicas was instrumental in the introduction of flamenco to audiences outside of Spain and the Spanish-speaking world. He was probably best known for his technical skills: blazingly fast picados (scales), fast arpeggios, quality composition for the many forms of flamenco, and infallible rhythm, which was critical if playing with a dancer. Also, he was considered to have perfect pitch. “The finest technique around has got to be Sabicas, the flamenco player,” Chet Atkins told Guitar Player Magazine in March 1972.

Sabicas was one of flamenco’s greatest-ever guitarists, not only in terms of technique, but with major creative contributions, playing flamenco previously unimaginable and giving new tools and possibilities to the solo instrument. He brought this art to concert halls and major theaters where all classes could enjoy. Modern players such as Paco de Lucía, Tomatito, Serranito, Juan Manuel Cañizares, El Viejín, Vicente Amigo, Gerardo Nuñez, Javier Conde and many more claim large influence from Sabicas’ music.

Sabicas died at a hospital in Manhattan, New York, of complications from pneumonia and multiple strokes. (by wikipedia)

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This album shows a fantastic mixture of authentic traditional Flamenco, Progressive and Psychedelic Rock by Spanish legend Sabicas and extraordinary electric Jazzrock guitar by Joe Beck with congenial backing band among others Donald Mac Donald on drums, Warren Bernhardt organ and Tony Levin on bass. This is an album for those, who are willing to look over the edges of their progressive and psychedelic horizon. Great guitar playing all over. Unique and hypnotizing! (musicfromallaround.blogspot.de)

Spanish legend Sabicas combined traditional flamenco stylings with elements of psychedelic and progressive rock, with extremely tasteful results.

And don´t forget: This brilliant album was recored in 1966 … four years later … it was released ! A monster album !

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 Sabicas with a very, very young Paco de Lucía

Personnel:
Domingo Alvarado (vocals)
Joe Beck (guitar)
Warren Bernhardt (keyboards)
Diego Castellon (guitar)
Anthony Levin (bass)
Donald McDonald (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Inca Song 5.15
02. Joe’s Tune 3.49
03. Zapateado 9.38
04. Zambra 4.02
05. Handclaps 0.31
06. Flamenco Rock 6.13
07. Bulerias 7.25
08. Farruca 4.45

All songs written by Sabicas

 

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Pete York´s New York – Into The Furnace (1980)

FrontCover1After four years with the jazz-focused Chris Barber Band, drummer Pete York departed to form his own group, recruiting bassist Steve Richardson, Mel Thorpe on horns and woodwinds, and synth/keyboardist Roger Munns. Signing to the German Teldec label, the band released three European-only albums, kicking off with its 1980 debut, Into the Furnace, produced by Thomas Martin. York’s time with Barber was well spent; it gave the drummer his first opportunity to play in a jazz ensemble, an experience he wasn’t ready to leave behind just yet. Thus, much of Into the Furnace is jazz-inspired, although with ribbons of rock and R&B streaming through, the band creates a hybrid sound far removed from the fusion most groups parleyed when crossing these genres.

“This Time,” for instance, slides adroitly between R&B, boogie, Britbeat, and modern jazz, subtly connecting the dots between these interconnected styles. “Ways and Means” blends jazz, rock, and a funky-fired bassline; other numbers slip into proggier territory, reaching an apotheosis with the flute-led jazz-rocker title track and the storming “Reason Why,” an incendiary jazz-rocker that slams straight into a fevered boogie-woogie.

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York’s own Britbeat past is revisited on a punchy cover of “Gimme Some Lovin’,” but is best experienced on the group’s own “Blue Mountain Roll,” which digs deep into the blues, hitting veins of inspired jazz saxophone and majestic rock synth along the way. This was an adventurous set, and suffered accordingly — too rocking for jazz fans and too jazzy for the rockers, while the R&B, blues, and funk that underpin a number of the pieces were too few and far between for lovers of ’60s musical Americana. Today, however, when recycling of styles is so prevalent, this set sounds not just fresh, but thoroughly at home. This reissue appends three bonus tracks to the original album, all recorded a few years later upon the arrival of singer/organist Eddie Harden (another Spencer Davis Group alumni) and all venturing down musical avenues similar to the mother set. (by Jo-Ann Greene)

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If Pete York had laid down his drumsticks after helping Spencer Davis Group become mid 60’s chart legends, he would have already written his name into the annals of music history. Fortunately, he failed to do so and plays on today, a role model for percussionists and much loved and respected by fans and fellow musicians alike. “”Into The Furnace”” eas originally issued in Europe only during 1980 and has become a much sought after item as vinyl only release. Pete said “”People come up to me after gigs asking me to sign their copies so I think once the CD comes out it will have an audience””. Remastered by Pete with 3 bonus tracks and now available for the first time on CD. If you can stand the heat, dear listener, it’s time to try a sizzling slice of New York….

This is the debut album and it´s one of the finest albums, Pete York ever recorded.

A strong jazz-rock album wie a great jazz version of “Gimme Some Lovin´”. Another hightlight ist tha ballad “Blue Mountain Roll”.

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The three bonus tracks were from the album “Hardin & New York” from 1981 (without Eddie Hardin)

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Personnel:
Roger Munns (keyboards, vocals)
Steve Richardson (bass)
Mel Thorpe (flute, saxophone, clarinet, vocals)
Pete York (drums, percussion)

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Tracklist:
01. This Time (Thorpe) 4.08
02. Ways And Means (Thorpe/Munns) 3.46
03. Schtick (Richardson) 4.38
04. Now I Know (Thorpe/Munns) 2.36
05. Gimme Some Loving (S.Winwood/M.Winwood/Davis) 3.19
06. Into The Furnace (Thorpe/Munns) 2.51
07. Blue Mountain Roll (Thorpe/Munns) 5.01
08. New Tomorrow (Thorpe/Munns) 3.53
09. Water Fall (Richardson) 3.44
10. The Reasons Why (Thorpe/Munns) 2.34
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11. Dreamland (Thorpe/Munns) 5.05
12. Carnival Is Coming (Richardson) 3.27
13. Give Me Be-Bop (Thorpe/Munns) 2.32

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Silver Condor – Same (1981)

FrontCover1.JPGSilver Condor was an Album Oriented Rock (AOR) band in the early 1980s. They released two albums, Silver Condor (1981) and Trouble at Home (1983). They made their only Billboard Hot 100 appearance with a track off their first album, “You Could Take My Heart Away,” which reached #32 in 1981.

The band’s line-up shifted considerably between their first and second albums, with lead singer Joe Cerisano being the only constant member. The first incarnation of the band also featured the renowned guitarist Earl Slick. The second album featured well-known bassist Kenny Aaronson as well as future Autograph frontman Steve Plunkett on rhythm guitar. (by wikipedia)

This is one of those underrated classics in the genre of early 80’s AOR/Radiorock. Not many people know of this record and the high quality of the music on it. SILVER CONDOR was formed by a bunch of New Yorkers who all had their success in different bands.

The leaders of the band were guitarist Earl Slick and vocalist Joe Cerisano. The latter had a brilliant voice that is similar to Michael Bolton (when he was into AOR and especially during his Blackjack time). Musically the radiorock was also in the same direction as Blackjack. Besides Earl and John also ex-Babys keyboardist/guitarist John Corey, drummer Claude Pepper (session player) and ex-Axis bassist Jay Davis completed the line-up of Silver Condor on their debut.

The album was produced by Mike Flicker (Heart) and they just couldn’t go wrong on their same titled debut album that was released in 1981 on CBS Records. Like I said this album is a classic in the genre of early 80’s AOR/Radiorock. A lot of comparisons can be made when listening to the 10 songs.

The first 3 songs are all classics. “For the sake of survival”, “Angel eyes” and “Sayin’ goodbye” are such terrific polished early 80’s uptempo aor/radiorockers and are all similar to acts like AXE, SHERBS, BALANCE, PREVIEW, JOURNEY, MAYDAY, early SURVIVOR, STEEL BREEZE… The songs have got it all, classy keys, beautiful and very melodic lead and harmonyvocals, great guitarsolo’s of Earl and those memorable choruses. Pure Radiorock that was very popular in the US about 15 years ago. It is easy to listen to and very suitable to play in your car.

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After these 3 classics, we can hear a southern AOR ballad “Carolina” that is quite sounding like BLACKJACK. The closing track on side-A is “The one you left behind” and this is the classic Radiorocksound again. Side-B opens with “We’re in love” that carries a lot of the Dave Bickler SURVIVOR sound with it. Classy paino-keys open the next track “You could take my heart away”. A fantastic semi-AOR-ballad that reminds me of FRANKE & THE KNOCKOUTS on their 2nd album.

Track number 3 of side-B titled “It’s over” has got that Radiorock feeling again, those harmonyvocals are so perfect and the song is right up there with AXE and early SURVIVOR. The last 2 songs of the LP are the least interesting, but still from a good source. “Standin’ in the rain” is like “Carolina” on side-A and closing track “Goin’ for broke” is more sounding like AUTOGRAPH going Radiorock. The latter is being compared to Autograph, due to the fact that their leader STEVE PLUNKETT wrote it.

‘Silver condor’ was a true classic in the aor/radiorock genre and must be in the collection of every fan of this genre.  (by strutteraor)

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Personnel:
Joe Cerisano (vocals)
John Corey (keyboards, guitar)
Jay Davis (bass)
Claude Pepper (drums)
Earl Slick (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. For The Sake Of Survival (Cerisano) 3.24
02. Angel Eyes (Cerisano/Slick) 3.30
03. Sayin’ Goodbye (Cerisano/Lesley) 3.42
04. Carolina (Nobody’s Right, Nobody’s Wrong) 5.22
05. The One You Left Behind (Cerisano/Louther) 3.07
06. We’re In Love (Cerisano) 3.07
07. You Could Take My Heart Away (Corey) 3.52
08. It’s Over (Cerisano/Slick) 3.01
09. Standin’ In The Rain (Cerisano/Swetra) 3.44
10. Goin’ For Broke (Cerisano/Slick/Plunkett) 4.13

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Traffic – Same (1968)

FrontCover1Traffic is the second studio album by the English rock band Traffic, released in 1968 on Island Records in the United Kingdom as ILP 981T (mono)/ILPS 9081T (stereo), and United Artists in the United States, as UAS 6676 (stereo). It peaked at number 9 in the UK albums chart[1] and at number 17 on the Billboard 200. It was the last album recorded by the group before their initial breakup.

In January 1968, after some initial success in Britain with their debut album Mr. Fantasy, Dave Mason had departed from the group. He produced the debut album by the group Family, containing in its ranks future Traffic bass player Ric Grech, while Traffic went on the road. In May, the band had invited Mason back to begin recording the new album.

Mason ended up writing and singing half of the songs on the album (including his biggest hit “Feelin’ Alright?”), but making scant contribution to the songs written by Jim Capaldi and Steve Winwood. His flair for pop melody had always been at odds with the others’ jazz ambitions, evidenced by the dichotomy seen for the songs on this album, and by October he was again out of the band. He would return one more time for a tour and album in 1971 to run out the band’s contract. (by wikipedia)

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After dispensing with his services in December 1967, the remaining members of Traffic reinstated Dave Mason in the group in the spring of 1968 as they struggled to write enough material for their impending second album. The result was a disc evenly divided between Mason’s catchy folk-rock compositions and Steve Winwood’s compelling rock jams. Mason’s material was the most appealing both initially and eventually: the lead-off track, a jaunty effort called “You Can All Join In,” became a European hit, and “Feelin’ Alright?” turned out to be the only real standard to emerge from the album after it started earning cover versions from Joe Cocker and others in the 1970s. Winwood’s efforts, with their haunting keyboard-based melodies augmented by Chris Wood’s reed work and Jim Capaldi’s exotic rhythms, work better as musical efforts than lyrical ones. Primary lyricist Capaldi’s words tend to be impressionistic reveries or vague psychological reflections; the most satisfying is the shaggy-dog story “Forty Thousand Headmen,” which doesn’t really make any sense as anything other than a dream.

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But the lyrics to Winwood/Capaldi compositions take a back seat to the playing and Winwood’s soulful voice. As Mason’s simpler, more direct performances alternate with the more complex Winwood tunes, the album is well-balanced. It’s too bad that the musicians were not able to maintain that balance in person; for the second time in two albums, Mason found himself dismissed from the group just as an LP to which he’d made a major contribution hit the stores. Only a few months after that, the band itself split up, but not before scoring their second consecutive Top Ten ranking in the U.K.; the album also reached the Top 20 in the U.S., breaking the temporarily defunct group stateside. (by by William Ruhlmann)

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Personnel:
Jim Capaldi (drums, percussion, background vocals)
Dave Mason (guitar, vocals, harmonica, organ)
Steve Winwood (keyboards, vocals, guitar, bass)
Chris Wood (saxophone, flute, background vocals, percussion)

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Tracklist:
01. You Can All Join In (Mason) 3.34
02. Pearly Queen (Capaldi/Winwood) 4.20
03. Don’t Be Sad (Mason) 3.24
04. Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring (Capaldi/Winwood/Wood) (*) 3.11
05. Feelin’ Alright? (Mason) 4.16
06. Vagabond Virgin (Capaldi/Mason) 5.21
07. 40,000 Headmen” (Capaldi/Winwood) 3.15
08. Cryin’ To Be Heard (Mason) 5.14
09. No Time To Live (Capaldi/Winwood) 5.10
10. Means To An End (Capaldi/Winwood) 2.39

(*)  The original LP issue credits the song to Winwood/Capaldi. However, both BMI records and later issues of the album list Chris Wood as co-writer.

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Chris Barbers Jazzband – Maryland, My Maryland + 2 (1955)

FrontCover1Donald Christopher ‘Chris’ Barber (born 17 April 1930) is a British jazz musician, best known as a bandleader and trombonist. As well as scoring a UK top twenty trad jazz hit, he helped the careers of many musicians, notably the blues singer Ottilie Patterson, who was at one time his wife, and vocalist/banjoist Lonnie Donegan, whose appearances with Barber triggered the skiffle craze of the mid-1950s and who had his first transatlantic hit, “Rock Island Line”, while with Chris Barber’s band. His providing an audience for Donegan and, later, Alexis Korner makes Barber a significant figure in the British rhythm and blues and “beat boom” of the 1960s.

Barber was born in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, the son of a statistician father and headmistress mother. He was educated at Hanley Castle Grammar School, Malvern, Worcestershire, to the age of 15, then St Paul’s School in London and the Guildhall School of Music.

Barber and Monty Sunshine (clarinet) formed a band in 1953, calling it Ken Colyer’s Jazzmen to capitalise on their trumpeter’s recent escapades in New Orleans: the group also included Donegan, Jim Bray (bass), Ron Bowden (drums) and Barber on trombone. The band played Dixieland jazz, and later ragtime, swing, blues and R&B. Pat Halcox took over on trumpet in 1954 when Colyer moved on after musical differences and the band became “The Chris Barber Band”. (by wikipedia)

And this is one of his early singles and the music sounds pretty good and this single is fun, fun, and fun only !

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Personnel:
Chris Barber (trombone, vocals)
Jim Bray (bass)
Ron Bowden (drums)
Lonnie Donegan (banjo)
Pat Halcox (trumpet, vocals)
Monty Sunshine (clarinet)

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Tracklist:
01. Maryland, My Maryland (Traditional) 3.36
02. St. George’s Rag (Barber) 3.51
03. Wabash Blues (Ringle/Meinken) 6.04

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Atomic Rooster – Same (1970)

FrontCover1Atomic Rooster were an English rock band, originally formed by members of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, organist Vincent Crane and drummer Carl Palmer. Throughout their history, keyboardist Vincent Crane was the only constant member, and wrote the majority of their material. Their history is defined by two periods: the early-mid-1970s and the early 1980s. The band went through radical style changes, however they are best known for the hard, progressive rock sound of their hit singles, “Tomorrow Night” (UK No. 11) and “The Devil’s Answer” (UK No. 4), both in 1971.

In summer 1969, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown had to cease touring in the middle of their second U.S. tour because of keyboardist Vincent Crane’s mental illness. When he recovered, he and drummer Carl Palmer took the step to leave Arthur Brown and return to England, the return date being Friday, 13 June 1969, which was the year of the rooster in the Chinese calendar, and arranged a meeting with Brian Jones to discuss a collaboration. After Jones’s death, they adopted the name Atomic Rooster (with influence from the US band Rhinoceros), and soon recruited Nick Graham on bass and vocals. They followed with what had emerged as The Crazy World of Arthur Brown formula of vocals, organ, bass, and drums.

They soon undertook live dates around London; at their first headlining gig at the London Lyceum on Friday, August 29, 1969, the opening act was Deep Purple.[4] They eventually struck a deal with B & C Records and began recording their debut album in December 1969. Their first LP, Atomic Roooster, was released in February 1970, along with a single, “Friday the 13th”. By March, Crane felt it was best that they add a guitarist, and recruited John Du Cann from acid-progressive rock band Andromeda. However, just as Du Cann joined, bassist-vocalist Graham left. Du Cann (who played guitar and sang for Andromeda) took over vocal duties, whilst Crane overdubbed the bass lines on his Hammond organ with a combination of left hand and foot pedals. Atomic Rooster resumed gigging until the end of June 1970, when Carl Palmer announced his departure to join Emerson, Lake & Palmer. (by wikipedia)

And of course … Friday The Thirteenth was not only one the finest songs, Atomic Rooster ever recorded, but – read the lyrics – a song about Vincent Crane and his tragedy.

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Atomic Rooster (with Carl Palmer)

Personnel:
Vincent Crane (keyboards)
Nick Graham (bass, guitar, flute, vocals)
Carl Palmer (drums, percussion, glockenspiel)

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Tracklist:
01. Friday The Thirteenth (Crane) 3.28
02. And So To Bed (Crane) 4.08
03. Broken Wings (Mayall) 5.44
04. Before Tomorrow (Crane) 5.48
05. Banstead (Crane//Palmer/Graham) 3.30
06. S.L.Y. (Crane) 4.54
07. Winter (Crane) 6.55
08. Decline & Fall (Crane//Palmer/Graham) 5.46
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09. Play The Game (Cann) 4.46

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Save me, save me, save me, save me
Wake up in the night, stare into the dark
You can feel your fear,tearing at your heart

Trying to lock your door,there is no escape
I’ll be watching you,every move you make
Someone please, please save me

No one will save you – they won’t try
Someone please, please help me
Everyone’s lonely when they die
Everyone’s lonely when they die

No one in the world will want you – save me!
No one in the world will need you – save me!
No one in the world will love you – save me!
No one in the world will miss you – save me!

Walking down the street, footsteps close behind
Dare not turn your head, don’t know what you’ll find
Trying to shout for help, your words turn to dust
Looking for a friend, no one you can trust

Someone please, please save me
No one will save you, they won’t try
Someone please, please help me
Everyone’s lonely when they die
Everyone’s lonely when they die

 

Stone the Crows – Teenage Licks (1971)

OriginalFrontCover1This third album from Scotland’s Stone the Crows was as close to hitting on all cylinders as they ever came in the studio. With some personnel changes following Ode to John Law (a new bassist and keyboard player), they powered through the disc, with “Big Jim Salter,” “I May Be Right I May Be Wrong,” and their version of Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice” being the absolute standouts. The figureheads of vocalist Maggie Bell and guitarist Les Harvey had never sounded better as they worked in a pure rock vein, abandoning the blues aspect of their sound (Indeed, “Aileen Mochree” took them into Gaelic, a pleasant, brief side track) — check “Mr. Wizard” to get a good picture of where they were really headed. Of course, it wasn’t a one-dimensional sound; the keyboard-dominated “Seven Lakes” was full of pseudo-classical portentousness, almost de rigeur for the period. But it was when they rocked that Stone the Crows were at their best, and with this album they seemed truly poised to move up to the big time. (by Chris Nickson)

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Stone The Crows, live 1970

Personnel:
Colin Allen (drums, percussion)
Maggie Bell (vocals)
Les Harvey (guitar, recorder)
Ronnie Leahy (keyboards)
Steve Thompson (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Big Jim Salter (Allen/Harvey/Bell) 4.38
02. Faces (Allen/Bell/Harvey/Leahy/Thompson) 4.41
03. Mr. Wizard (Allen/Harvey/Bell) 5.30
04. Don’t Think Twice (Dylan) 5.04
05. Keep On Rollin’ (Allen/Harvey/Bell) 3.53
06. Ailen Mochree (Traditional) 0.24
07. One Five Eight (McGinnis) 6.27
08. I May Be Right I May Be Wrong (Allen/Bell/Harvey/Leahy/Thompson) 5.04
09. Seven Lakes (Allen/Bell/Harvey/Leahy/Thompson) 3.03

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